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José Tendetza should have been in Lima , Peru last week at the climate change talks as one of the powerful Indigenous voices speaking about the destruction that the mining and energy agenda of countries like Canada is bringing upon his and many other communities in the Global South. José Tendetza was a Shuar Indigenous community leader from Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador who refused to give up his land for the illegal gold and copper Mirador project currently under construction. Now in the hands of the Chinese consortium, CRCC-Tongguan, this project belonged to the Vancouver-based junior mining...
In August, I was invited to travel to Marinduque Island in the Philippines to meet with civil society organizations, municipal elected officials, and the elected Provincial Board. The topic on people’s minds was a long-running lawsuit pitting the Provincial Board against Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold. The case, filed in the state of Nevada in 2005, is at a crossroads and it may be re-filed in Canada. Marinduqueños sought my assistance in considering their options. I participated in four separate meetings with in total some 140 people. The meetings were facilitated by a handout (attached...
Barrick GoldPhilippinesMarcopper MineAbandoned MinesCorporate Social ResponsibilityImpact on Communities
[This review was originally published in Political and Legal Anthropology Review: Volume 37, Issue 2: November 2014] Leviathans at the Gold Mine: Creating Indigenous and Corporate Actors in Papua New Guinea , by Alex Golub (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014) Alex Golub’s ethnography is based on fieldwork in an Ipili village perched on the edge of a gold mine in Porgera, Papua New Guinea. The book is suffused with the same hopefulness that characterized Golub’s views during his fieldwork (1999-2001): “I chose to study Porgera because the Ipili were a success story –...
The following letter has been sent to authorities to demand a response from the Mexican and Canadian authorities to ensure justice for his death. This video is from a vigil in front of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City mere days after the Mariano's November 27, 2009 murder, held by the Mexican Network of Communities Affected by Mining (REMA). Activist Bety Cariño speaks of Mariano, and the larger Indigenous struggle for land, for water, and for life, forcefully and eloquently. Three months later, she herself was killed, along with Finnish human rights observer Jyri Jaakola, on a...
BlackfireMexicoCorporate Social ResponsibilityHuman RightsIndigenous RightsInternational Trade & Investment
(Ottawa) New evidence is emerging that Barrick Gold ’s dealings with victims of violence by mine security and police at mine sites in Papua New Guinea and in Tanzania is primarily designed to protect the company from legal action, rather than to provide fair remedy for women who have been raped and men who have been hurt or killed by mine security. Lawyers who represent victims of violence at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and at the North Mara mine in Tanzania are speaking out. On Friday, U.S.-based EarthRights International released documents that reveal how the compensation...
Blog: The Inter American Human Rights Commission – an independent office of the Organization of American States – has added its voice to a growing list of human rights bodies calling on Canada to prevent mining abuses and hold Canadian companies and state agencies responsible to account.
“Despite Canada’s assurances that there is good policy, we continue at the commission to see a number of very, very serious human rights violations occurring in the region,” said Commissioner Rose-Marie Antoine for the Inter American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) in Washington this week. Alluding to complaints the IACHR has received about serious harms to the lives, lands, water, health, living environments and livelihoods of mining-affected communities in connection with the operations of Canadian mining operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, she continued, “You have policies like...
Presentation: Through its acts and omissions, the Canadian government plays a central role in enabling Canadian mining companies in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as tolerating and contributing to the systematic rights violations taking place.
[ Update: As of November 6, 2014, the Government of the Northwest Territories accepted Dominion Diamonds' financial assurance for the Ekati mine. However, it came in the form of surety bonds - not, as is required in many jurisdictions, an irrevocable letter of credit - and therefore may not provide the same level of security.]
As we wait for the conclusion of the technical review and criminal investigations, information revealed by various media investigations and disclosures by the BC government show that there were a number of warnings and red flags raised about the Mount Polley mine's tailings impoundment in recent years. Whether the issues identified in the past are directly related to the spill or not, the BC government's response to them tells us a lot about how the supervision of mining sites works in BC.